Every so often, I get a glimmer of hope for the sport that I love and hate at the same time. I have lost all hope for a showdown with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, JR., and could care less if they sign to fight now or not. No matter what, boxing is not close to what it was, and every single time that there is an opportunity for the sport to rebound and make some positive press, it fails. The mainstream press that boxing finds its way into is when something negative happens, and the boxing fans can thank Floyd Mayweather, JR., for setting the sport back a few steps more. The good thing is that boxing is so far back now that there aren’t many more steps it can take.
In his fight with Victor Ortiz, it was clear early on that Mayweather had the superior technique, but he was also facing somebody with a pulse this time around and Ortiz was not going to go quietly. The Ortiz plan, a good one, was apparently to rough up Floyd, but he went too far when he drove his head into the jaw of “Money,” immediately earning a deduction of a point.
When the two met in the center of the ring, Ortiz and Floyd looked as if they were going to hug and continue the fight, when Floyd unleashed a vicious two punch combination that knocked out the WBC Welterweight Champion. The head butt was wrong and Ortiz was rightfully penalized, but Joe Cortez was busy looking at the ring card girls and missed what was going on in the ring. He only knew that Ortiz was down when he hit his foot on the way to the floor. What a huge mess in Vegas.
To make matters worse, Floyd would attack an old man, getting into the face of the feisty Larry Merchant, prompting one of the lines of the year: “If I were fifty years younger, I would kick your ass.” You have to love Merchant.
Floyd Mayweather, JR., 42-0, 26 KO’s, has bragged about his record, his string of victories, his place in boxing history and all sorts of other things, but in reality, he benefits from selective matchmaking, a time in boxing that doesn’t feature many superstars, and poor officiating. If you put Mayweather in there with a prime Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, or any of the other active fighters in and around his weight from the 1990s, he would not be undefeated, and the same goes for Manny Pacquiao. He would not be ruling so easily if boxing wasn’t so empty of true talent.
If you look at boxing’s latest attempts at rekindling the sport, you have to hang your head in shame as a boxing fan. Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye was a “I won’t hit you if you don’t hit me” sham of a title fight and now this super fight, we have one guy launching his head into the jaw of his opponent as the opponent cheap shots him when he’s not looking. With the UFC, and pro wrestling even, the paying fan walks away feeling as if they got their money’s worth most of the time. In boxing, you always feel like you’re being robbed and this was another instance.
To add to the boxing state, the networks ignore the sport, the American heavyweight scene is abysmal, the boxing writers seem to exclusively write about Manny Pacquiao, some of which are giving him a written hand job in every article, and then you have the times when it can rebound and it shows once again why you shouldn’t be a boxing fan.
For the record, I have cancelled both HBO and Showtime and would also cancel ESPN as well if it wasn’t a free addition to the cable bill. My interest in boxing is fading quickly and I am convinced of certain things and I’m hoping that I will be wrong. 1. The Klitschkos will retire unchallenged. 2. Floyd Mayweather will never fight Manny Pacquiao. 3. Boxing’s next big superstar is years and years away. 4. If Boxing gets back into the mainstream limelight, it will screw it up.
The question is posed often: What is better, MMA or Boxing. Easy answer: MMA and I don’t even follow it or like it.
Floyd Mayweather, JR., had a chance to make boxing better, but he has turned more and more into his character. He spends more time boasting then fighting and his refusal to face Pacquiao has more to do with fear then steroids, and I urge every boxing fan to find something else to watch. Perhaps badminton or reruns of the Jeffersons…anything but boxing…